My competition season is over and I am about 10 days into my off-season training & recovery diet.
I had a really successful competition season and I am VERY pleased with my placements. This was the toughest and largest group of competitors I’ve ever been up against and it was a true honor to be amongst them. However I am walking away with more than my wins or placements. I met many great people, spent face to face time with my coach, set new PR’s under the guidance of my trainer and had the best prep season yet. Being on stage and placing is only part of the journey. Learning how to train, eat, make this a lifestyle and participate in life outside of bodybuilding while in prep and dieting is difficult. This season I made progress in all these areas.
The quotes below help summarize it all.
“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limit, that is real joy”. Arthur Ashe
This quote was sent to me by my good friend, Julie Christian and is a reflection of what competing means to me. It is not about competing against or beating other athletes but about being better for yourself each time. No matter what those improvements are; competing at your best level at that moment is the real joy. I believe I brought a better version of Tara to the stage this year; more mass, leaner and a better competitor by being able to enjoy it more and show more support and admiration towards other athletes.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation”. Arthur Ashe
I will admit self-doubt creeps into my thoughts before I get on stage, especially during pump up time when everyone around me is pumping up and looking amazing. I worry that I am not good enough, big enough or competitive enough. I am happy to say that these thoughts were not as prevalent this year. I felt more confident and had a different mind-set. I admired the athletes around me and was confident knowing I was as prepared as I could be thanks to the support of my coach, trainer and of course, Paul.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome”. Arthur Ashe
I’ve come to learn that bodybuilding is a journey and a year round lifestyle. When you step off the stage and competition season is over, you are still on the journey. You still have to track macros and train. It is important to find a coach who can help you make this journey livable. I am happy with how I handled this last prep-season. I was way more social and said YES to more social events compared to the last few preps. I attended weddings, parties, bbq’s, traveled a lot, ate out in restaurants and guess what, I survived. I stuck to the training plan, enjoyed time with my family and friends, had 4 great competition weekends and enjoyed every moment of it.
My goals for 2015 have been set – I want some new PR’s in the gym:
Back squat 285# (Anthony thinks 300 – we will see)
Front squat 230#
Bench press 175#
Overhead press 100#
Of course, I want MORE MASS (don’t we all) on this body and after seeing me on stage we know what needs extra attention. My team (Eric, Anthony and Paul) has devised a plan and as always I appreciate their support!!
My recovery diet is going well – slowly increasing the carbs and fat depending on how the scale reacts and how my body looks. Cardio will slowly decrease and Eric thinks by Christmas will be ZERO!!!!!
I am looking forward to 2015 and to see where this journey takes me next.
“We do not remember days, we remember moments”. Cesare Pavese